OpenStack Summit Day 0 – a mode B train ride

This year I get to go to Open Stack Summit in Tokyo. It will be my first time visiting Japan. Right now I am in a very small hotel room at 3am (local time), wide awake because I went to bed at 7pm. Such is jet lag, I guess. My personal goal for this even is to create a short post daily with some initial thoughts / reactions / fun things I learned.

Day 0 was just getting here. I got on a plane in Richmond, VA just before 9am Eastern on Sunday morning. I got off a plane an hour outside of Tokyo at 3:40pm Monday. I was in the air for ~16 hours total. Time zones and datelines will forever befuddle me. I took the Narita Express train from the airport to downtown Tokyo.

The practical thing I learned is that GPS on your phone SUCKS in downtown Tokyo. I was going to walk the ~1 mile from Tokyo Station to my hotel. Google Maps took me in 4 different directions while thinking I was on 3 different roads before I gave up and got into a cab. I’m pretty sure I would still be walking if not for that nice man.

The other thing that jumped out at me was during the train ride in. Space is so much more utilized in Japan. At first I thought it was just sort of stacked up and haphazard. But as I rode by it I began to see the organization and beauty in how the space in the Tokyo area is utilized. It’s pretty amazing.

It made me start thinking about my own house and the 5 acres of trees that it sits on. Not in a better/worse sort of way. Obviously I have different goals than someone who lives near downtown Tokyo. But when I give a talk about containers I talk a lot about them being the ‘next layer of density’ in computing. Bimodal IT is one of the biggest concepts in that area.

Over the next few days, I will definitely be a mode A guy walking around in a mode B country. Wish me luck!


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